Tag Archives: art

Simply Necessary to Love

Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.
—Claude Monet

The Impressionists have been an inspiration to me, in seeing and feeling the light of Nature.

Fleming Creek, Michigan

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Komorebi, from Japan to Michigan

Komorebi is a Japanese word, meaning the scattered, dappled light effect when sunlight shines through tree leaves. We have quite a bit of experience with this concept in Michigan.

camus invincible summer

Fleming Creek, Michigan

Our First and Last Love

In the light, the earth remains our first and our last love. Our brothers and sisters are breathing under the same sky as we; justice is a living thing. Now is born that strange joy which helps one live and die, and which we shall never again postpone to a later time.
Albert Camus, The Rebel

Huron National Forest

Pine River, Michigan
Huron National Forest

All the World Will Be in Love with Night

Come, gentle night, come, loving, black-browed night,
Give me my Romeo. And when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.

April 23 traditionally marks William Shakespeare’s birthday, so a belated greeting in memory of the Bard.   From Romeo and Juliet, one of my favorite passages.

Newburgh Lake, Michigan

Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast the First Stone

camus invincible summerA feverish look shines from the eyes of a young woman as three men in cloaks of fine linen march her into the village square. Her skin is the color of olives; her long, dark hair is not plaited. She wears a plain robe woven from wool and on her feet sandals of leather. Derisive catcalls and cries of “Adulterer!” “Harlot!” greet her from the gauntlet through which she is pushed and prodded. The white disk of the noonday sun allows no forgiving shadows.

The local Inquisitors are using the young woman as bait, setting a trap to ensnare an itinerant rabbi from far-off Nazareth, who teaches in parables and dares to question their authority. They confront him as he stands near the well, observing the trial about to begin. The laws of Moses command that adulterers be stoned, they taunt him, what say you about this one?

Jesus knows his foes well, these thin-lipped dogmatists of the letter of the law. In all their studies of the prophets, they have forgotten nothing and learned nothing. He has foiled their stratagems before, and he regards them with an expressionless scorn. The crowd impatiently awaits his reply. Stones in hand, they have their work to do.

Jesus does not speak immediately, but instead waits for the words to come to him. He looks over the crowd and says in a voice that carries to the far side of the square: “He that is without sin among you, let him cast a stone at her.”

Jesus fixes a steady gaze on the Inquisitors, as their smirk of arrogance fades. Those among the crowd who a minute ago were crying for the woman’s blood now have silent tongues. The faintest of breezes rustles the leaves on the sycamore trees. Somewhere in the distance, a child cries. The Pharisees are reduced to shuffling away in silence; not a word of response have they spoken. They are convicted by their own consciences. The crowd disperses, pondering Jesus’ words. “What does it mean?” a voice asks. No one has a ready answer.

The young woman alone remains with Jesus. She stands silently, in a daze. The cold sweat trickles down her back. I do not condemn you, Jesus says, and she feels the strength returning to her legs. She begins to weep, as relief flows through her like a river. But Jesus is not one for situational ethics. He places a hand on her shoulder and says, “Go, and sin no more.” Before leaving, the woman gets a cool cup of water from the well and offers it to Jesus. He smiles, but with sadness in his eyes, and thanks her.

For one sun bleached afternoon, the law tempered with mercy is redeemed from the ones with bloodless lips who would see it etched into stone. Jesus has spared a woman who broke one of Moses’ laws; in so doing, he has invited the wrath of the patriarchs. Jesus knows that soon they will have their day.